Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.
Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid–her true home–with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything…including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.
This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
Thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book for review, and to Bloomsbury’s children publishing!
Was this really written by the same author that wrote my much beloved series Dorothy Must Die? Because this really doesn’t feel like it. I’m not big on talking bad about books or heavily criticising them because of how much work goes into them, and how hard the author works, etc…
But what even was this book? A bundle of semi-good ideas that could’ve been great if executed right, but unfortunately right. And I say “semi-good” because some of the ideas and plot points were so awful and messy. Considering the fact that I never really give out one-stars, this should be saying something. The only reason why I carried on reading and didn’t leave this as a DNF because I was curious (& I was hoping it would get better) and I got sent this for review, and I was going to do it!!!
I skim read half this book, because the writing was so poor. No real descriptors, no world building, and some of the sentences felt lazy and unedited. It didn’t feel like a proper published book at all.
I didn’t really care for any of the characters no matter how tragic their backstory. Gerde and Kai were okay but that’s about it. Everyone else that had the potential to be interesting and amazing…they just weren’t. No development of anything!! The same with Snow’s powers…one minute she can’t use them, and the next she’s the master of her powers??? I swear I must have skipped some chapters, because half the time I had NO clue what the hell was going on.
New record for love interests people, because here we have Bale, Jagger and Kai. Yep. 3 of them. Despite 3 love interests, I still felt no real chemistry anywehre!! Nope!! None!! Ahhh. I’m a big shipper, and the only thing I was shipping was me x finishing this book!
Can I hit Snow with a magical mirror? IS SHE COMPLETELY STUPID? Says she trusts no one, trusts everyone. Does something, questions if she should have done that, shrugs it off, and then freaks out later because she doesn’t know if she should trust so-and-so but it’s fine because she trusts the boy with the pretty face. Ahhhhhhhhh. No, please stop. Now. Just no. I agree, Snow, you’re meant to be the hero of this story?! Make it Gerde. At least she has some character.
If I got money for every time I read the words “my dear” we’d all be able to afford that Rover from Closer. I got so irritated every time. Do you need to say my dear 50 times in one sentence? IN ONE CONVERSATION? NO! (Do I need to use this many !!! and ???? probably not, but I. Just. Don’t. Get. It!!) And calling her “child!” so annoying, but that one is at least understandable since that’s what she acts like pretty much all the time.
“I glared at his perfect profile.” What a sentence.
I was so excited for this book, having loved Dorothy Must Die, and the idea of it sounded really cool (ha). Everything it promises in the synopsis is a lie. With better writing, better character development, and a few less love interests this would be decent. The ideas are there, but not executed well. It’s hard to want to read and believe in a story and feel for it’s characters when they’re just so flat. I didn’t feel anything for Snow, and her being the protagonist and the “hero” of this story means that there’s a big problem. Despite her being locked away for being crazy when she’s not, being pulled into a different world and finding out her whole life is a lie, I still didn’t feel anything for her other than annoyance and a serious case of the eye-rolls. This villain that’s meant to be the King even makes me want to roll my eyes. Please stop, come back in five minutes and try again later.
I realise my review is incredibly salty, but this book and me really didn’t get along. I don’t even know if I’m going to read the second one, I might out of curiosity and because I hate not finishing series, but it’s a stretch. Maybe I’ll try and re-read it when this comes out on paperback, but there’s a very slim chance of that happening as well…